You’ve probably been seeing more rainbows than usual lately. I don’t mean in the sky,

 I mean Rainbow Pride Flags! For the LGBTQ+ community, June is Pride Month, a time to get out there and show off who you are and what you’re all about, and let everyone see how absolutely fabulous the queer community can be!

Depending on where you live, same-sex relationships or other forms of non-traditional lifestyles might seem quite normal. But LGBTQ+ rights are still a controversial issue throughout the United States and many other parts of the world, and even in places like big cities where these lifestyles are becoming normalized, the fact of the matter is that in historical terms, living openly as a member of the LGBTQ+ community has only been an option for people for the last couple of decades or so, and that isn’t very long at all.

Society is only just beginning to make space to allow for the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. So what happens when the time comes to approach death from the LQBTQ+ perspective? It can be difficult to know what to say or do when serving clients with this unique viewpoint if you do not have experience with it. But here’s the good news—here at IDLM, we know someone who can teach you.

The IDLM Summer Summit is coming up at the end of July, and one of our speakers during the week will be Jamie Thrower, Queer Death Doula, End of Life and Grief Educator, and the founder of the Queer Grief Club. Jamie focuses her own practice around advocacy and direct client care with regards to LGBTQ+ end of life care and grief support. She will be conducting a webinar covering the crucial roles of language and communication, and how important it is to be as aware as possible of cultural contexts when dealing with diverse populations and recognizing the limitations of traditional death care practices when it comes to working with clients from non-traditional ways of life.

Jamie will be only one of the fabulous speakers presenting during our Summer Summit, which will run every night from July 29 – August 2 and will also include presentations by Barbara Karnes, as well as talks about water cremation by Eric Rooney and Men’s Grief by Tony Lynch. The Summer Summit is a great way to dip your toes in if IDLM is new to you (or you are new to IDLM!), and it’s also a fantastic way to re-connect if you graduated a while ago and want to add a bit to your knowledge base, or just want to feel a fresh boost of community spirit!

Watch this space (or check the Movement) for more info about the Summer Summit in the next few weeks. In the meantime, get out there and have a Pride-filled summer!